The Difference between Kleptomania and Shoplifting Addiction
Each year, thousands of people shoplift in the United States. Every person who shoplifts does so for different reasons such as the following:
- Personal profit
- Shoplifting addiction
- To support a drug or alcohol addiction
If you or someone you love has a problem with shoplifting, there is treatment available. Learn more about shoplifting addiction and kleptomania and find addiction help today.
What Is Kleptomania?
Kleptomania is a rare condition. It is an impulse-control condition that causes the affected person to be unable to resist stealing objects even if the objects are unneeded. Kleptomaniacs do not plan to steal items before they steal them. Kleptomania is not an excuse to steal, as kleptomaniacs are aware of what they are doing at all times. Kleptomaniacs often feel great remorse over stealing that can disrupt daily life.
When a person has kleptomania, he or she experiences a great deal of anxiety about stealing. There is a great deal of tension before committing theft and a sense of relief after the theft is complete. Stealing is not committed in response to a delusion, hallucination or sense of vengeance. In summary, Kleptomania is the following:
- A powerful urge to steal that is compulsive in nature
- Does not happen with planning or forethought
- A source of great anxiety for the kleptomaniac
What Is Shoplifting Addiction?
A shoplifting addiction is similar to kleptomania. The main difference between the two is that shoplifting addiction causes the shoplifter great anxiety well in advance of the shoplifting trip. Also, the shoplifting addict usually has experienced some loss in life and the shoplifting is done as a way to “make things right” and may be done in anger. Shoplifting addiction is the following:
- An overwhelming desire to shoplift items
- A constant tension and pressure to shoplift with repetitive thoughts about shoplifting
- Associated with a very brief time of relief after shoplifting
- A way to express anxiety, anger or a way to “set things right” in life
When to Seek Help for Shoplifting or Kleptomania
No matter what causes compulsive shoplifting, it is a miserable situation for the person who steals. Compulsive stealing is committed by all types of people from all backgrounds. Compulsive shoplifters cannot stop shoplifting even when they feel an incredible sense of guilt and shame about their habit. You may want to find help if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Do you attempt or plan to stop shoplifting but find yourself unable to do so?
- Do you shoplift to ease feelings of anxiety or distress?
- Do you anticipate your next shoplifting trip?
- Do you feel isolated, alone or depressed?
- Have you continued to shoplift even though you have faced relationship problems, employment problems, legal problems or emotional problems due to the shoplifting?
People may be afraid to seek help for a shoplifting condition, because they are afraid of what others will think. Other times, people avoid treatment for fear of being arrested. Everything you say in a clinical therapy session is private, and unless you are harming yourself or others, your counselor will maintain your privacy.
Find Kleptomania, Shoplifting and Addiction Help Now
There is help available. You don’t have to battle this addiction on your own. Call our toll-free helpline now to speak with one of our experienced rehab counselors who can help you find treatment for addiction, mental health concerns and more. We can even help you arrange insurance payment for treatment. Call us now to confidentially find out how we can help you.